Straight & Two Beers: A tough year, but the future is in our hands

Johannesburg – The year we’d love to forget is winding to a close.

When it began, none could have foreseen the pitfalls ahead. Unfortunately, the year 2020 will live with us longer after it fundamentally changed the way we live, work, love, play and pray.

At Straight & Two Beers, we are fully behind the efforts by President Cyril Ramaphosa to restrict reckless drinking by some among us. Alcohol has had a bad rap during the pandemic as a result of few irresponsible drinkers.

For one scary moment, when he announced the new measures to contain the second wave of Coronavirus this week, I expected Cupcake to take all of us to alert level five.

It would have been déjà vu all over again.

Hence I stocked my bar to transition my parched throat beyond the festive season.

Drinking in the comfort of your patio should be the new normal by now, which is what I’ll be doing on my birthday.

This, by the way, is not an invitation: keep a social distance from my crib!

It defies logic in this day and age that there are still miscreants who bar hop sans precautions, only to transmit the virus.

Worse, there are reckless ones who take to the road after bingeing and end up clogging the much-needed hospital beds or dead.

The liquor industry said it was spending R150-million to deploy booze patrollers to deal with binge drinking, drinking and driving, underage drinking and gender-based violence. An industry that lost billions when trade was forbidden is now required to police its irresponsible customers.

The police have long lost the battle and the army is nowhere to be seen after they killed a man they found drinking in his yard in Alexandra.

Why is it difficult to abide by the law and save lives?

Do we really need Gogo Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to take away our zol and close the taverns?

We all hope that next year will bring better tidings, be it job prospects or a semblance of normality to our lives.

However, we know that this pestilence does not have a cutoff date and will still be in our midst for the foreseeable future.

We also hope that Finance Minister Tito Mboweni could invest in a cookbook so he could improve his menu. The unsightly mess he regularly posts on Twitter has traumatised the nation.

There is nothing wrong with the pilchards and his garlic, but it’s the way he prepares them that leaves a bitter taste.

We also hope that the thieves who stole from the public will finally be sent to that place with orange overalls.

The coming year will need all our shoulders on the wheel to help the country out of the economic quagmire.

I wish you all a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. It’s in our hands.

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